View Full Version : What Do I Use to Seal the Slate?
01-11-2004, 12:06 AM
As most ya'll know...I recently got a table and have got it setup and leveled. Now I figured I can seal the slate where the joints meet, but am confused on what product to use. The local dealers around here have told me to use a "Durham Rock Hard Puddy". But I've heard some people suggest Beeswax as well.
Which should I use, and why? I did buy some puddy tonight, although it wasn't by the same exact name the dealers noted. Lowe's carry a brand called Dap, and it's simply referred to as "water puddy". It was only $2 so price isn't a concern. My real issue is making sure I got the right stuff to do the job so I can start shoot'n some pool.
01-11-2004, 01:39 AM
For temporary situations such as a weekly event in a casino, rec center, etc., beeswax usually works quite good because it comes off quite easily. For a more permanent situation, "BONDO", like they use on auto bodies works great. It applies over the seam quickly and after you spread it across the seam with a putty knife, it dries quite easily. (smells a bit but smell leaves soon)
Using Rock Putty is not too good because it sticks to the slate and after it dries, it can break some of the slate off of the seam when you re-level the slates at a later time.
In Europe, they have a really thin tape which they put over the seam and you almost cannot feel it just on the slate. It is slightly expensive but it works great for those big tournaments and is also used in some billiard rooms.
01-11-2004, 08:23 AM
I don't squat about setting up tables but in the book 'Color of Money' (the one without the Vince character), Fast Eddie used plaster of paris.
01-11-2004, 08:39 AM
Is there any problem removing a three piece slate that has been bondoed?
01-11-2004, 01:43 PM
JimS who posts here used a product that Brady B. uses and his Dad at the U.S. Open to ste up their tables. I can't remember the name but I think Jim will agree that it's great stuff. Jim had a problem with a slate popping up or something and now I'm curious to see how it's holding up on his Diam Pro 9ft.
Maybe he'll post it if you PM him? I think they also use playing cards to do the job right. Please check into this. It might prove valuable to you.
C.C.~~welcome to the stomping grounds. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
It sounds like you are talking about "Liquid Dowels". Greg explained how he recommends the Diamonds be assembled. The slates are put together with three pieces of porous cardstock about the size of a business card in between about where dowels would be. After the slates are leveled the liquid is applied to the cards and they hold the slates together. He said "Super Glue" works just as well.
The poster seems to be asking what to then fill the seams with. A good high temperature beeswax or bondo seem to be the preferred materials. I use bondo simply because I have it and I have no experience working with beeswax and I've made no effort to find beeswax.
I don't think bondo adheres so well that there is danger of damaging the slate when removing it but it can be a pain to remove. If you assemble tables for a living you probably would prefer beeswax.
01-11-2004, 04:31 PM
I don't think bondo adheres so well that there is danger of damaging the slate when removing it but it can be a pain to remove.
One thing I might note is the slate DOES still have that bondo/plaster/puddy crap still on it where the dealer originally installed the table. Do I need to sand that off before re-applying more of it or the beeswax? I can see the difficulty in removing it because I don't want to sand away the slate and create a low spot.
JMD in VA
01-11-2004, 08:33 PM
Hey pal JMD here. Got to the leveling huh. Pain in the butt isn't it. Anyway. My buddy and I used this powdery substance that dentists use on teeth. It's like enamel or something very strong dentists put on teeth. It called "jade ..... something" Check with your dentist. He'll know. It only needs a little bit of water, it sets up fairly quickly and it's waterproof when dry! Check it out. Hope this helps!
JMD in VA
Countin down to the 2004 US Open!
I'm no authority on any of this but I would think if the slates go together and the material that is there does not form a shelf that might break off I would leave it. I don't see any need to remove it if it's bonded firmly. It's better to err on the side of caution.
If you're doing the table yourself you can afford to take the time and decide whether to leave it or not. A professional table mechanic would not want to have to spend his time making decisions and would want to get the job done and get on to the next job.
If you take the time you can do a better job than a professional.
01-11-2004, 10:44 PM
Well guys, for better or worse I got the table completely leveled and used that "water puddy" to fill the seams. Actually it did a wonderful job, and the thing was silky smooth when it was done. I did have to lightly sand it, or actually my brother-in-law, since he does paint & body work and used to working with bondo and getting everything perfect. As Ken noted, we didn't bother with trying to remove the old stuff since it didn't cause any apparent "breaks" in the overall smoothness. It was so well settled, we figured it would be a waste of time, and a major pain in the rear.
Afterwards was a race to get the cloth stapled on (utilized the EXISTING stuff), and then get the rails and pockets bolted in place. So now the table IS finished, and I have already played 4 or 5 games on it. The journey seemed to take forever, but this was my first time of setting up a table. The leveling was a pain in the rear, but was aided by the fact I only had a 4" starrett level to work with, and the good ole use of a ball to see how everything rolled.
The end results are great. I saved $250-$300 to have someone move & setup the table, and learned a ton in the process. I think I will invest in one of the 12" levels though for the next time around. But for now, I am happy and see no obvious flaws. Thank goodness, considering the amount of time it took.
I"d forgotten about the Liquid Dowel stuff...and it worked great! No problems in about 3 years now. I'd recommend it but I don't know where to get it except to contact Brady or the Diamond mechanic.
Re: the Starrett level, you can do an automatic search on eBay for any item and eBay will then email you whenever one of that item comes up for auction. Pretty handy.
Glad to hear the table is working well. What a treat to have a table at home!
01-12-2004, 06:46 AM
There was a thread last week talking about the best sealer. A few people insisted on Bondo which I thought was too permanent. So, I went out to the RSB archives to see what some of the table mechanics had to say. It took me a while but I finally found one poster that said the way to undo the Bondo to re-level or move was to us a sharp knife or razor and run it down the seam then lift up on the end to pop it loose. The same poster also stated that chipping the Bondo off the edge could lead to small chips on the slate edge (which I quess is pretty obvious). So, if you had some excess on the edge I quess you would have to sand it off.
I would imagine, in a commercial setting where you have people banging tables up pretty good the Bondo would give extra help in keeping the slate from popping. But, if you treat a table like it is suppose to be treated I wouldn't think the slate should shift at all.
01-12-2004, 08:13 AM
Anonamus, I had looked some for Bondo info but mainly found it seemed to be used a lot. Worst comment was it was a chore digging it out of screw heads, I think in response to Logixrat's post on Az.
Begining to look like I'll have to buy a new table so I expect to use whatever the maker (Diamond) recommends. And see what this "liquid dowell" JimS used is all about.
If you pm Brady he can tell you more about the Liquid Dowell. I don't like bondo, my table was put together using bees wax. No sanding. Just melt it into the seam with an iron, like ironing a shirt, and scrape off the excess with a wide putty knife.
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